Boxer had suffered a split hoof, but he seemed to be recovering and contined to work harder than any of the other animals on the windmill. But they noticed his hide was no longer as shiny as it once had been as he approached his 12th birthday. One day, it was reported that he had fallen and could not get up. It was his lung, Boxer told the animals. He was looking forward to his retirement, and it was assumed that he would live out his last years in restful solitude. Squealer promised that the local veterinarian would heal Boxer, but one day the animals saw an enclosed wagon taking Boxer away. The animals bid him goodbye, thinking he would soon be healed. But Benjamin read what was on the side of the wagon:
"Alfred Simmonds, Horse Slaughterer and Glue Boiler, Willingdon. Dealer in Hides and Bone-Meal. Kennels Supplied."
It was too late for the animals to stop the wagon, and they watched as Boxer was sold to the glue factory.